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35 Years of Work at UCLH in Magnetic Resonance: Ernest Cady

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In this seminar I aim to present a brief history of my thirty-five years of work at UCLH working mainly in the field of magnetic resonance. I started work at UCLH in 1978 initially in the field of ultrasound focusing on dystrophic muscle using attenuation/texture. Our first MR spectrometer (1.9T, 20cm-bore) was installed in 1982 and we performed muscle studies used phosphorus-MRS. We also began pioneering neonatal-brain work acquiring the first in-vivo human-brain spectra. We showed that birth-asphyxiated infants often had normal-appearing brain metabolism early on but ~12hr later phosphocreatine (PCr) and nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) decreased while inorganic phosphate (Pi) increased. Typically the lower the PCr and NTP and the greater the Pi, the worse the outcome. We called this “secondary-energy-failure” (SEF) because the impaired energy-generation birth-phase often resolved but a secondary phase followed.

In 1990 we acquired 7T and 2.4T magnets enabling localised proton MRS. Following birth-asphyxia MRS showed increased brain lactate (Lac) and decreased N-acetylaspartate (NAA; predominantly neuronal) and significant prognostic efficacy e.g. increased Lac/NAA and reduced PCr/Pi both adversity-associated.The 7T magnet was significant in developing the UCL SEF piglet-model and its use for therapy assessment, such as hypothermia/xenon. In 2010 hypothermia became a NICE standard-of-care. My recent research includes very early (~2hr) MRS injury-severity markers, 3T MRS of preterm white-matter/term grey-matter, intra-neuronal thermometry, combined MRS/NIRS and further therapy assessment.


Ern Cady has a BSc in Astronomy from UCLH, and a Diploma in Advanced Science Studies (Radio-Astronomy) from Manchester. He worked at UCH since 1978, first as a Medical Physicist and a Principal Physicist, before eventually becoming a Consultant Clinical Scientist in 2004, a position he still holds. Ern has also been an Honorary Lecturer at UCL and is currently a Senior Lecturer. Between 1990 and 2008 he held the position of Director for the UCL Bloomsbury Centre for MRS.

Ern is a fellow of the Institute of Physics as well as the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. He is also a Registered Clinical-Scientist (2002-); Registration-Assessor (2004-) and Fitness-to-Practice Panel-Member (2009-) of the Health & Care Professions Council.

Alongside his work Ern is a MRI Safety-Advisor for a number of institutions including UCLH/National Hospital, London Upright MRI, Royal Veterinary College, Nuada Medical, Harley Street Clinic and the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health. Over the course of his career, Ernest has had published ninety-nine journal papers, 36 book chapters and 1 book entitled Clinical Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. He has 293 presented abstracts and has obtained 22 grants.



November 18, 2013
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Roberts Room G08, Roberts Building
UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT United Kingdom
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